General Leia might make an appearance in Star Wars: Episode IX despite actress Carrie Fisher’s untimely death in December 2016. Leia was previously supposed to be a big part of the upcoming as yet untitled Star Wars: Episode VIII, and Fisher’s death sent Lucasfilm scrambling to figure out how to honor Fisher’s legacy while keeping the narrative plausibility of the series intact. But a BBC Newsnight segment seems to indicate they’re going to potentially use the same CGI for Leia that resurrected actor Peter Cushing for his character Grand Moff Tarkin’s more-than-cameo appearance in Rogue One.
The episode of BBC Newsnight focused on how Rogue One handled not only the technology behind bringing Cushing’s likeness to the screen using cutting edge technology, but the ethics behind it as well. They then suggested that the technology is what will be used in the further big-screen episodes to bring back General Leia.
Per Making Star Wars, the BBC report said:
And in what might be regarded as unseemly haste, Disney is negotiating with the actor’s estate over her continued appearance in the franchise. If Disney gets the go-ahead, Carrie Fisher will join Peter Cushing…
The quote trails off there because the clip can only be viewed on the BBC iPlayer to UK viewers, but since its the BBC it seems like its seriously one of the routes that Lucasfilm is considering for the future films. Treating Carrie Fisher’s likeness the same way as Tarkin raises a bunch of flags beyond the fact that the Rogue One Tarkin hit all the wrong uncanny Valley notes to many viewers. Computerizing actors is ridiculously expensive, and it’s probably not the best way to treat Fisher’s legacy to the beloved franchise.
If the BBC is to be believed, we should get ready for CG Leia, but it might be a bit less expensive to just do a rewrite.